Feb 14 2014

1994: February 12-18

tvweek_120294‘A giant Godzilla grabbed us’
Cameron Daddo (pictured) has written in TV Week about the recent earthquake to hit Los Angeles: “It was my first experience of an earthquake. As if the giant clawed hand of an angered Godzilla had grabbed us. At 4.30am on Monday, 17 January, I awoke to a symphony of car alarms and vibrating windows. When I realised what was going on, the bed was doing ‘bunny-hops’ and Mother Earth was groaning in pain — a noise I will never forget. Directly after the quake,I grabbed the phone and called my wife, Alison, to tell her the news: ‘S***, here comes another one!’. The first aftershock almost turfed me off the bed. I assured Al that I was okay and we did our usual long goodbye. I surveyed the apartment and wandered down the plaster-covered stairs to see how the neighbours were doing and to listen to their battery-operated radio. It was only then that I realised how bad it all was. When the power was restored and the TV signal finally came through, I saw images live and in-your-face as only the Yanks can do.”

And the earth moved for Gavin, too
Former A Country Practice star Gavin Harrison was also caught up in the LA earthquake. Just hours before the quake struck, Harrison had been driving on the Santa Monica Freeway. That freeway became a twisted mass of collapsed concrete and steel. “I am very lucky,” he told TV Week. “If I had decided to come home a couple of hours later, I’d be a part of that rubble.”

tonipearen_0001In: Toni. Out: Tina
Toni Pearen (pictured) has scored an eight-week guest role in Home And Away, playing the part of a schoolteacher. The role comes after Pearen was recently threatened with her life while performing in the Queensland town of Gladstone. “I was just about to go on when we got a call from a guy who said, ‘You’d better get everyone out of the nightclub because we’re going to blow it up, and Toni Pearen with it!’. I panicked. I really did, because nothing like that has happened to me… but the police took it seriously,” she told TV Week. Meanwhile, Tina Thomsen, who plays Finlay Roberts, is leaving Home And Away after three years. “I didn’t really feel my character was going anywhere,” she said. “People have known for a while that I’ve wanted to leave.”


  • Former Home And Away star Rebekah Elmaloglou has returned from performing in the pantomime Aladdin in the UK to take up a role as guest reporter for Seven‘s The Great Outdoors. “I’ve always watched friends, such as Sofie Formica, on the show and wished I had the opportunity to report, because I am interested in that,” she told TV Week. Elmaloglou will also be starring soon in the upcoming feature film The Sum Of Us.
  • Peta Toppano (Prisoner, Return To Eden) is set to join the cast of Ten‘s new drama series Heartbreak High for a 13-week guest role.
  • Former Beyond 2000 reporter Simon Nasht is joining SBS‘ new computer and technology series The Big Byte, joining Basia Bonkowski. The Big Byte will be taped in New Zealand and will screen in both Australia and New Zealand later in the year.
  • Production of ABC‘s troubled drama project The Damnation Of Harvey McHugh is now back in progress. Some episodes are being re-filmed for new producer Sue Masters but the cast is not expected to change. The series is expected to go to air mid-year.

Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here

“The gimmicky line they’re using to promote the new US series The X Files is: “Don’t watch it on your own”. Well, I did… on your behalf, of course, and with the light on, but, then again, I was making notes. The X Files is one of the new cult hits from America’s Fox Network, which has to be given credit for trying to be a bit different occasionally.”

darylsomersossieostrich_0001Program Highlights (Melbourne, February 12-18):
Saturday: The Australian Skins Golf (3pm, Seven) is broadcast live from Mackay, Queensland. Larry Emdur hosts the Uncle Toby’s Ironman Super Series (3pm, Ten) from Manly, Sydney. Hey Hey It’s Saturday (6.30pm, Nine) returns for the new year with Daryl Somers and Ossie Ostrich (pictured). Drew Morphett hosts live coverage of the pre-season AFL game between Aboriginal All-Stars and Collingwood, from Darwin (8.30pm, Seven).

Sunday: The Fast Forward special 38 And A Bit Fabulous Years Of Australian Television (7.30pm, Seven) takes a comical look at Australia’s television history — featuring Magda Szubanski, Marg Downey, Gina Riley, Michael Veitch, Jane Turner, Geoff Brook, Steve Blackburn, Alan Pentland, Glenn Robbins and Peter Moon. The Winter Olympics from Lillehammer, Norway, begin with the Opening Ceremony (8.30pm, Nine). Sunday night movies are The Hand That Rocks The Cradle (Seven) and Terminator 2 — Judgment Day (Ten).

Monday: ABC programs TVTV (6.30pm), Four Corners (8.30pm) and Media Watch (9.15pm) are back for the new year. Andrew L Urban hosts new series Front Up (8pm, SBS), featuring spontaneous interviews with ordinary Australians. The Winter Olympics settles into its regular nightly coverage (8.30pm to midnight, Nine).

Tuesday: GP (8.30pm, ABC) returns with a 90-minute special episode — featuring the arrival of new doctor Martin Dempsey (Damian Rice).

nadinegarnerWednesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Annalise (Kimberley Davies) fears for her safety when Tim (Drew Tingwell) bails her up in the empty Waterhole. Dino, Where You Been?, featuring Nadine Garner (pictured), is the first of SBS’ new Under The Skin (8pm) series of dramas.

Thursday: Sandy Roberts hosts live coverage of the Australian Masters golf (12pm, Seven) — with coverage continuing through to Sunday. In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Angel (Melissa George) remains determined to tell Dylan (Jimmy Lucini) she is his real mother.

Friday: In The Great Outdoors (7.30pm, Seven), Sofie Formica visits the rainforest and sub-alpine areas of Tasmania’s Mount Field National Park; Frankie J Holden reports on the children’s facilities at Great Keppel Island; and Bridget Adams sets off on a three-day journey across the Simpson Desert.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 12 February 1994.  Southdown Press

Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2014/02/1994-february-12-18.html

Feb 11 2014

40 years since The Box, Class Of ’74

reggrundy_0001Forty years ago there was a turning point for two of Australia’s most prolific television producers — Reg Grundy and Hector Crawford.

Grundy (pictured), a former radio announcer, had built his TV production empire largely on game and panel shows — many being local adaptations of formats developed overseas. It was a successful strategy but the genre was losing favour with the networks who could gain more local production points with drama.

So Grundy, who began his TV career as a host of Wheel Of Fortune, had moved into soap operas. He brought English TV producer Alan Coleman to Australia to put together the company’s first drama project, Class Of ’74, for the Seven Network. The series, scheduled in an early evening timeslot from its launch in March 1974, told the story of students and teachers at fictional high school Waratah High. Veteran actor Leonard Teale (Homicide, Seven Little Australians) led the cast, joined by John Hamblin, Jeanie Drynan, Gordon Glenwright, Gaynor Sterling, Allan Lander, Janet Kingsbury, Vince Martin and US actor Chuck Danskin. The schools’ students played by Joanne Samuel, Megan Williams, Jeremy Chance, John Diedrich, Barbara Llewellyn, Anne Lambert, Adrian Bernotti, Kevin Wilson and Carla Hoogeveen – selected from a pool of around 300 young hopefuls.

Class Of '74

Class Of ’74

In an era where Number 96 led the charge for sex and nudity on TV, Class Of ’74 tested the boundaries as far as it could for its early timeslot. “The difference between us and the producers of Number 96 is that we believe there’s no need to see these young people fornicating in bed. We’re not going to put on a peep show,” Class Of ’74 scriptwriter John Edwards told TV Times.

While it might not have been a “peep show”, Class Of ’74‘s early storylines were lurid enough to bring the viewers in — “Who’s the girl having an affair with one of the teachers? Who’s the boy whose activities in the holidays may get him expelled as soon as he returns? Is it true that one of the pupils has posed for a pornographic picture? Greg lures Julie to his pad but Julie won’t have a bar of what Greg has in mind.”

The irony in the early success of Class Of ’74 was that it bumped another Grundy program, quiz show Great Temptation, from its long held 7.00pm timeslot to go up against Number 96 at 8.30pm. It was a move that would ultimately mark the end for Great Temptation.

classof75Class Of ’74 saw through the end of the year and continued as Class Of ’75 with some new cast members signed up — including former Number 96 stars Abigail, Peter Flett and Briony Behets, Peta Toppano and Anne Charleston — and a new emphasis on comedy. The new-look series was not a hit with viewers and the show soon vanished from sight, with Melbourne’s HSV7 demoting the revamped series from prime time to Saturday mornings after barely six weeks, although Grundy was to revisit the schoolroom concept with Glenview High a few years later.

hectorcrawford_0001While Grundy was bringing the schoolyard to TV, Melbourne-based Hector Crawford (pictured) was also embarking on a change in direction. Crawford Productions had been involved in series production as far back as the 1940s, producing radio programs and serials, and had later made its mark in television with police dramas including Homicide, Division 4 and Matlock Police. But television drama was going through a generational change in the 1970s — police and crime shows were on the outer while Number 96, launched in 1972, was proving that serialised drama was a cheaper and viable format for prime time.

Crawford had developed a concept based around the workings of a fictional television station and, like 96, would feature ample amounts of sex and nudity. With the 0-10 Network having success with 96, The Dream Makers was offered to the Nine and Seven networks. Both networks knocked it back.

By July 1973 it was reported that 0-10 was investing over $1 million in new Australian production — including a pilot for a new drama series which happened to be The Box, a re-work of The Dream Makers concept.

Early speculation of cast members for the project included George Mallaby (Homicide), Terence Donovan (Division 4), Jack Thompson (Spyforce) and English actress Sandra Gough (in Australia for a ‘working holiday’).

Although Gough was reported to be interested, she was reluctant to commit to any role that required nudity. ”I am against that on the screen. It’s not at all necessary,” she told TV Times.

Even Bert Newton, best known for hosting variety programs such as In Melbourne Tonight and the TV Week Logie Awards, was reported to be on the short list of candidates for playing the role of a TV presenter. “I know more about it than I can tell you but that’s it at the moment,” he told TV Times. “I have not done any TV acting but I do regard sketch work which I have done on many occasions as a type of acting, though some people might argue about that.”

tvtimes_090274_0002Production for The Box began in Melbourne in October 1973. After months of speculation the cast list was finally confirmed – Graeme Blundell (later to become famous as Alvin Purple), Barrie Barkla, Fred ‘Cul’ Cullen, Judy Nunn, Monica Maughan, Fred Betts, Briony Behets (pictured with George Mallaby) and Kay McFeeter were the first to be announced.

After weeks of negotiation, George Mallaby was eventually signed up for the leading role of TV executive Paul Donovan. Ken James, best known from children’s series Skippy The Bush Kangaroo, was signed on for the part of actor Tony Wild.

Bert Newton’s rumoured involvement in the series was not to be — with the part of TV compere Gary Burke going to English actor Peter Regan.

vanessaleighAlso joining the cast were Paul Karo, Helen Hemingway, Lois Ramsey, Ken Snodgrass, Belinda Giblin and Vanessa Leigh (pictured).

The Box burst onto screens in a 90-minute debut, broadcast on ATV0 in Melbourne on 11 February 1974. Sydney’s TEN10 followed the next night. The series was not surprisingly run back-to-back with Number 96. On the day of its debut, in a rare move Hector Crawford placed prominent ads in the daily papers justifying his move into sex-and-sin drama and responding to the critics:

“Our programs have always enjoyed a remarkable degree of success in Australia because we have produced the type of drama which Australians want to see. Our approach to The Box has followed the very same policy, recognising that our society’s tastes and standards are changing and, to a great extent, maturing. To us, television must reflect this change, this growing maturity.

“I believe our responsibility is to the television audience at large, not to vocal, and sometimes, highly managed minority groups which try to dictate what people should be allowed to see on their screens.”

The Box‘s executive producer Tom Hegarty also confirmed to Woman’s Day just how explicit the series was to be:

The Box is not billed as a family show. We plan it for fairly late evening viewing, after the kids have gone to bed, and any sex there is in the show will be fairly adult. It is an adult show. We are not playing for kids.”

Viewers looking for nudity, or outrage, were sure to find plenty in the opening episodes. When variety show host Gary Burke (Peter Regan) fails to appear on cue after a commercial break it is revealed that he had been ‘distracted’ by a young female, Felicity (Helen Hemingway), in his dressing room. Not only was Felicity young but also under-age (though the actress was not).

judynunn_0002Later, a photoshoot featuring cop show star Tony Wild (Ken James) in a naked pose with Felicity leads to a lesbian kiss between Felicity and magazine reporter Vicki Stafford (Judy Nunn, pictured). Not even the groundbreaking Number 96 had managed a same-sex smooch.

With such titillating material The Box was understandably a ratings hit. In particular in Sydney it managed a rating of 46 on its debut — meaning that 46 per cent of all TV sets in Sydney were tuned to The Box. Its early ratings in Melbourne, where the series was made, were not as high but still put the new show second to only Number 96 in the ratings.

ATV0_TheBoxAs well as the emphasis on sex and nudity, the goings on at the fictional television station, UCV12, were almost regarded as a satiricial, if not accurate, portrayal of the television industry at the time. “Of course we do draw a lot on what happens around here,” Hegarty told Woman’s Day.

The portrayal of bullish station owner Sir Henry Usher (Fred Betts) was the subject of much industry speculation. Was he modelled on Sir Frank Packer, owner of the Nine Network, or even Reg Ansett, owner of ATV0. It was revealed many years later that the character was based, affectionately, on Hector Crawford himself.

grahamkennedypaulkaroWhile Crawford may not have considered The Box his best work it was the one series that kept the company afloat after the networks had canned his cop shows in quick succession. Some of the actors to have featured in the Crawford cop dramas would soon re-appear in The Box, including Don Barker, Gary Day, Tom Richards and John Stanton.

And while The Box didn’t get Bert Newton, it did manage to get Graham Kennedy (pictured with Paul Karo) to appear as himself in the 1975 feature film spin-off.

Some of the other cast to feature in The Box during its series run included Noni Hazlehurst, Tracy Mann, Tristan Rogers, Shane Porteous, Jill Forster, Tony Bonner, Geraldine Turner, Christine Broadway, Tony Barry, Delvene Delaney, Syd Heylen, Donald McDonald, Luigi Villani and Davina Whitehouse.

cherylrixonThe series continued to feature certain amounts of nudity. Perth-born model Cheryl Rixon (pictured) was to become the show’s new sex symbol, replacing Vanessa Leigh, while one storyline had the staff of UCV12 finding themselves inadvertently at a nudist retreat. The episode, filmed at a secluded property on the outskirts of Melbourne, featured cast members and extras, male and female, of various ages and sizes and in various stages of nudity — but the public was no longer shocked. “We ran the scene some two or three years after The Box started, and there was not even a murmur,” writer Jock Blair told TV Week in 1981.

thebox_0002So with the public no longer being shocked by such titillation The Box, like 96, had nowhere else to go. Ratings fell and both series wound up production in 1977.

Crawfords went on to other projects including The Sullivans for the Nine Network, Cop Shop for the Seven Network and the ill-fated Hotel Story for 0-10.

Source: TV Times, 28 July 1973, 11 August 1973, 18 August 1973. 1 September 1973, 8 September 1973, 22 September 1973, 23 March 1974, 25 January 1975. The Age, 11 February 1974. TV Week, 29 August 1981. Super Aussie Soaps

Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2014/02/40-years-since-the-box-class-of-74.html

Feb 10 2014

INXS wins first ratings battle

inxsnevertearusapartThe new ratings year got off to a huge start last night with four networks rolling out their big guns.

Seven‘s night started with My Kitchen Rules followed by Sunday Night and then the much-publicised mini-series INXS: Never Tear Us Apart (pictured).

Network Ten had the series revival of So You Think You Can Dance followed by the Winter Olympic Games, including the heavily-promoted appearance of Aussie competitor Torah Bright‘s attempt at an Olympic medal.

ABC1 had the new series of Rake.

But it was Nine that played its cards at the last minute by shifting its telemovie Schapelle from Monday to Sunday night at short notice — a move that looks like it didn’t do it any favours.

INXS: Never Tear Us Apart topped the overnight figures with 1.974m viewers across the five cities (OzTAM). Seven also had the next three rankings with Sunday Night (1.793m), My Kitchen Rules (1.640m) and Seven News (1.292m).

Schapelle was further down the list — in seventh place — with 1.022m viewers. It was beaten by The Block: Fans V Faves (1.274m) and Nine News (1.223m). Schapelle‘s numbers may be reviewed once the late finish time is taken into account.

Ten’s So You Think You Can Dance returned to a disappointing 466,000 viewers, while the Women’s Snowboard Slopsestyle Final, featuring Torah Bright, was watched by 996,000 plus a further 218,000 viewers on One.

Rake on ABC1 picked up 645,000 viewers.

Overall shares for the night: Seven (37.6 per cent) ahead of Nine (27.0%), Ten (20.5%), ABC (11.9%) and SBS (3.1%).

Data © OzTAM Pty Limited 2014. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM.




Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2014/02/inxs-wins-first-ratings-battle.html

Feb 07 2014

News boss Anthony Flannery quits Ten

anthonyflanneryNetwork Ten has announced the resignation of its Head of News and Current Affairs, Anthony Flannery.

Flannery will depart the network on 28 February. He came into the role from New Zealand in January 2012 as Ten was in recovery mode from the failed news expansion experiment of 2011.

Network chief Hamish McLennan said in a statement today:

“I would like to thank Anthony for his hard work and contribution over the past two years. Our News operation has become stronger and more efficient over that time and our flagship Ten Eyewitness News bulletins at 5pm continue to dominate their timeslot in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. We wish Anthony all the very best for the future.”

The announcement of Flannery’s departure comes less than two weeks before the arrival of former Nine and Seven news chief Peter Meakin who arrives at Ten on 17 February as its Executive Director of News and Current Affairs.

Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2014/02/news-boss-anthony-flannery-quits-ten.html

Feb 07 2014

Adelaide Fringe comes to Channel 9

livefrom9The studios of NWS Nine in Tynte Street, North Adelaide, have been host to a range of productions over the past 54 years — programs including Adelaide Tonight, The Country And Western Hour, The Curiosity Show, Channel Nine Telethon, The Channel Niners, Adelaide Today, C’mon Kids and the once-traditional Christmas pantomimes.

Now the studios, named ‘The Kevin Crease Channel 9 Studios’ in honour of former newsreader the late Kevin Crease, are hosting shows of a different kind as one of the venues for the Adelaide Fringe Festival.

humphreybbearAs well as shows such as Mutual A-Gender, A Sense Of Home, DNA and an Amazing Race-themed contest, Race Around The Block, the studios are also hosting Humphrey, Honey & Imagination — featuring famous children’s TV character Humphrey B Bear (pictured), whose program Here’s Humphrey came from the Tynte Street studios for many years.

The Adelaide Fringe Festival runs from 14 February to 16 March. Details of events are at their website.

NWS9, mid-1960s

NWS9, mid-1960s

Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2014/02/adelaide-fringe-comes-to-channel-9.html

Feb 07 2014

1994: February 5-11

tvweek_050294Cover: Christina Applegate (Married With Children)

Much ado about nothing
The Seven Network has scheduled the Fast Forward comedy special, The Making Of Nothing, to go to air later in the month. The one-hour special is described by executive producer Andrew Knight as “a documentary voyage that will prove a stimulating, incisive expose of the trials and tribulations behind the glamour of your average run-of-the-mill auteur. For the average run-of-the-mill viewer, this is a hilarious spoof featuring all your Fast Forward favourites, with guest star John Doyle (Rampaging Roy Slaven) and several other big names who wish not to be named in connection with the film.” Celebrities who “may not wish to be named” include Cameron Daddo, Hugo Weaving, Genevieve Picot, Ivan Hutchinson, Annette Allison, David Stratton and Margaret Pomeranz.

glennridgenickybuckleyNicky’s new date
Sale Of The Century now has its new co-host, model Nicky Buckley (pictured with host Glenn Ridge). Her appointment comes after the quiz show spent much of the second half of last year working with guest co-hosts, one of whom was Buckley. She is a former co-host of the Network Ten game show Blind Date and had been a model on Sale Of The Century in the past. Her husband, model Murray Bingham also appears on the show.

raymartin_0002Trading places
As former Midday host Ray Martin (pictured) was preparing to take on the host’s position on A Current Affair, he told TV Week he got a ‘welcome’ message by fax from his former 60 Minutes boss and producer of rival program Real Life, Gerald Stone: “Congratulations on a class act. Welcome to the real world. We’re going to whip your a— — the viewer will be the winner!” Martin responded, “he shouldn’t have said it because he’s going to live to regret it. It’s a nice red rag to a bull. The reply will be in the ratings.” Martin also says A Current Affair is in for changes. “Current affairs (shows) have become sleazy, there’s too much foot in the door,” he told TV Week. “I think we can reflect a society that is much better than most others we know in terms of a place to live.” Meanwhile, former current affairs host Derryn Hinch is ready for his big career change — taking over as host of Midday. “I have big shoes to fill and I know it’s daunting,” he told TV Week. “I have no illusions that it’s going to be easy. Seven-and-a-half hours of live television a week is a lot of television and a lot of interviews and a lot of research. And, because of the nature of the beast, it’s stuff you have to do yourself.” As to Hinch’s shock exit from Network Ten, it was a harsh outcome of some internal politics at the network but he has resolved not to comment on the situation or his replacement, Sydney radio man Alan Jones.


  • As Mother And Son returns for its 10th year, actor Garry McDonald (pictured with co-star Ruth Cracknell) credits the show for helping him overcome his much-reported nervous breakdown a year ago, triggered by the pressure of the launch of his series The Norman Gunston Show. “I was absolutely thrilled when they said, ‘We’re doing another series of Mother And Son‘, because I was immersed in absolute chaos and I knew I was in big trouble. Now I’m back to normal,” he told TV Week.
  • gerardkennedyFormer Division 4 cop and two-time TV Week Gold Logie winner Gerard Kennedy (pictured) is returning to TV, again playing the role of a cop. He has a guest role in this week’s episode of Blue Heelers as Jack “Black Jack” Egan, a tough retired detective with a reputation for sorting things out on his own. “It’s a role I enjoyed playing very much,” he told TV Week. “He’s far from the stereotypical cop, that’s for sure.”
  • Former Fast Forward star Gina Riley is taking on the most challenging role of her career, starring in the musical Falsettos at the Sydney Opera House. Riley is playing a New York Jewish mother whose husband (John O’May) leaves his family to be with his male lover (played by Simon Burke). “I think it is a wonderful show, because it has that fantastic sense of New York humour, but has a stirring sense of drama as well.”

Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here

“This week, it seems, is the time when the silly season should be officially be declared over. You only have to flick through the pages of this week’s TV Week to realise that — Hinch, Martin, Ridge (this year with Buckley), McDonald and Cracknell are just some of the names featured this week. They’re back… and, after a pretty dry television summer, it comes as something of a relief.”

Program Highlights (Melbourne, February 5-11):
Saturday: Today’s sport includes the Mercantile Mutual Cup (9.50am, Nine), live from Bellerive Oval, Hobart. ABC’s weekly review of Federal Parliament, Order In The House (11pm) returns this week.

Sunday: With the ratings now in full swing for 1994, Business Sunday (8am, Nine), Sunday (9am, Nine), Meet The Press (11.30am, Ten) and 60 Minutes (7.30pm, Nine) return for the new year. Sunday night movies are Soapdish (Seven), My Girl (Nine) and Backdraft (Ten). Actress Ruth Cracknell is profiled in the one-hour special It’s Ruth (8.30pm, ABC).

derrynhinch_0002Monday: Daytime programs Ernie And Denise (9.30am, Nine), What’s Cooking (11am, Nine) and Midday (12pm, Nine) all return for the year — with Midday now hosted by Derryn Hinch (pictured). In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Cheryl (Caroline Gillmer) has become the major silent shareholder at Lassiters. Sale Of The Century (7pm, Nine) returns with a new Celebrity Challenge series. In the series return of Mother And Son (8pm, ABC), Maggie (Ruth Cracknell) goes missing after Robert (Henri Szeps) takes her out for a drive, while Liz (Judy Morris) finds out about Carmen (Tina Bursill).

Tuesday: Jo Beth Taylor returns with a new series of Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show (7.30pm, Nine), followed by the special A Word From Our Sponsor, looking at some of the world’s funniest, silliest and award-winning television commercials, hosted by Steve Jacobs. 

Wednesday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Angel’s (Melissa George) quest for visiting rights with her son ends in disaster. In Newlyweds (8pm, Seven), Jules (Cathy Godbold) shocks the family when she announces that she is moving in with a 36-year-old photographer.

Thursday: In Beyond 2000 (7.30pm, Ten), Caroline West jumps out of a plane to try out a new computerised automatic backup parachute system, Andrew Waterworth checks out the latest gadgets on display at the Japan Electronics Show, and Anthony Griffis investigates claims that San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge could collapse in the city’s next major earthquake. Ray Martin hosts the one-hour special Graham Kennedy’s 60th Birthday (8.30pm, Nine), featuring various footage of Kennedy’s career including In Melbourne Tonight.

Friday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Mrs Harris (Judy Walker) puts her trust in Angel (Melissa George), allowing her to see Dylan (Jimmy Lucini) next week. In The Great Outdoors (7.30pm, Seven), Ted Egan visits Esperance, Western Australia; Ernie Dingo continues his journey through the MacDonnell Ranges; and Bridget Adams visits the miniature world of Cockington Green, outside of Canberra.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 5 February 1994.  Southdown Press

Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2014/02/1994-february-5-11.html

Feb 03 2014

TV Week Logie voting begins

logie_2014TV Week has now opened voting for the upcoming 56th annual TV Week Logie Awards.

Voting is open via the Logies website until 2 March and awards will be presented at the Crown Entertainment Complex, Melbourne, on 27 April, and televised on the Nine Network.

While purchase of a copy of TV Week is no longer required in order to vote, entering a codeword as published in the magazine enables entry into the competition for two tickets to the event.

Categories open to Most Popular votes this year:

  • Gold Logie — Most Popular Personality
  • Most Popular Actor
  • Most Popular Actress
  • Most Popular Presenter
  • Most Popular New Talent
  • Most Popular Drama Program
  • Most Popular Light Entertainment Program
  • Most Popular Reality Program
  • Most Popular Sports Program
  • Most Popular Lifestyle Program

An industry panel will evaluate nominees for the presentation of the Most Outstanding categories and will choose the recipient for the TV Week Logie Awards‘ Hall of Fame Gold Logie.

Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2014/02/tv-week-logie-voting-begins.html

Feb 03 2014

Today Tonight axed on east coast

todaytonightThe Seven Network has today announced the axing of the two east coast editions of Today Tonight, effective immediately.

Adelaide and Perth editions of the program will continue.

The announcement was made to Seven staff via email this morning. Staff linked to the program will continue to be employed, contributing to network news features and to the Adelaide and Perth editions of Today Tonight.

Today Tonight is a program that has had a chequered history. It launched in January 1995, replacing Real Life, with individual editions in each of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. The newly-launched show had an emphasis on serious current affairs and investigative reporting — leaning more towards The 7.30 Report in style rather than A Current Affair.

The Melbourne edition of Today Tonight made news of its own in 1996 when host Jill Singer collapsed during a commercial break and was taken to hospital after she had been forced by Seven management to pull a story relating to then Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett.

Singer, a former ABC journalist, later left the program and was replaced by newsreader Naomi Robson.

naomirobson_0001Robson (pictured) continued as host as Today Tonight moved away from serious current affairs towards more tabloid fare — consumer stories, dodgy tradespeople, rent dodgers, wonder bras and diets, etc.

In its new guise Today Tonight picked up in the ratings — and won a Logie in 2002 for Most Popular Current Affairs Program — but also became a magnet for controversy, largely due to its sensationalist style of current affairs and had been hauled up to the broadcasting authority and taken to task by Media Watch on a number of occasions for misleading reporting.

Eventually the Melbourne edition went on to replace local versions in Sydney and Brisbane.

After almost a decade as host, Robson stepped down from the show in 2006, replaced by journalist Anna Coren and later Matt White. Production of the program at this time was based in Sydney.

helenkapalos_0001In 2013 the Brisbane edition of Today Tonight was reinstated, with Sharyn Ghidella, while former Ten newsreader Helen Kapalos (pictured) took over as host on the Melbourne-Sydney edition, based in Melbourne. Kapalos recently announced her move to Seven’s weekly current affairs program Sunday Night.

Although Today Tonight was at one time the dominant player in the long-running battle between it and Nine’s A Current Affair, ratings in recent times have fallen.

The move to axe the program, to be replaced with an extension of Seven News in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, comes after Nine extended its 6.00pm news bulletin to one hour and shifted A Current Affair to 7.00pm.

Over the last two summers Seven had experimented with variations to the Seven News-Today Tonight combination.

Source: Mumbrella


Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2014/02/today-tonight-axed-on-east-coast.html

Feb 02 2014

Ten adds Hugh Riminton to news desk

hughrimintonNetwork Ten has announced that award-winning journalist Hugh Riminton (pictured) will join Sandra Sully at the Ten Eyewitness News desk in Sydney.

Riminton, who is currently Ten’s National Political Editor and Canberra Bureau Chief, will begin at the Sydney newsdesk on Monday 10 February.

In a statement issued today, Riminton said:

“Who wouldn’t want to share a desk with Sandra Sully? She’s an iconic
figure in Australian television, a great survivor in a tough business and an inspiration to many people.

“We know each other well. I love her humour, her charm and her deep commitment to the news. She is a tremendous communicator and she’s great fun.”

Two weeks later, Riminton will also take over as anchor for Ten Eyewitness News Late when it returns after the Winter Olympics.

In today’s announcement Network Ten’s Director of News, Sydney, John Choueifate, said:

“Sandra and Hugh are two of the most respected television journalists, editors and presenters in Australia. Together, they have more than 50 years’ experience in breaking, reporting and presenting stories. No other network can match that.

Ten Eyewitness News dominates its timeslot in Sydney and every other capital city. In Sydney, the combination of Sandra and Hugh – plus Sport Presenter Matt Burke and Weather Presenter Tim Bailey – will ensure that dominance increases.”

“We are also delighted that Hugh has agreed to present Ten Eyewitness News Late nationally. As the only late-night news bulletin on commercial television, Ten Eyewitness News Late offers viewers comprehensive coverage of all the local and overseas news of the day and evening.”

Riminton joined Ten in 2009, coming from five years at CNN and before then the Nine Network. At Nine he was a foreign correspondent for many years and later a presenter on Nightline, in competition with Sully then presenting Ten Late News. Since joining Ten he has provided reporting and insight across the network’s various news and current affairs programs.

Last year he hosted Ten’s weekly current affairs series Revealed and co-hosted The Election Project.

Riminton’s appointment to the Sydney newsdesk follows the recent announcement that Mike Munro will front Ten Eyewitness News‘ national weekend edition, and comes after Seven‘s recent reshuffling which saw Mark Ferguson replace Chris Bath as primary news anchor for Seven News in Sydney.

Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2014/02/ten-adds-hugh-riminton-to-news-desk.html

Feb 01 2014

Television.AU February update

kathandkim_0002Some non-blog updates to start the month.

Classic TV Guides


16 May 2002 (Premiere: Kath And Kim, pictured)


17 June 1959 (First televised Shakespeare in Australia)
4 November 1969 (Melbourne Cup)
19 October 1974 (First test colour programs — Sydney)


31 December 1979
16 August 1984 (QTQ9 celebrates 25 years)
13 July 2003 (Premiere: Deal Or No Deal)

Northern Territory

16 October 1978


2 December 1974
3 November 1992 (Melbourne Cup)


#059: Beauty And The Beast

Beauty And The Beast was a panel show first launched by the Seven Network in 1964. The basic premise was to pit a sardonic or sometimes chauvenistic host (‘the beast’) against a panel of females (‘the beauties’) who would respond to viewers’ pressing, or not so pressing, issues.

Eric Baume was the first ‘beast’ and others to follow after his death included Stuart Wagstaff, Rex Mossop, John Laws and Alwyn Kurts.

The original version of Beauty And The Beast last appeared in 1973. In 1982 the format was revived by two rival networks at the same time. The Seven Network revival was headed by Derryn Hinch, while John Laws reprised his role as ‘beast’ for Network Ten’s version. Laws was later replaced by Clive Robertson.

Pictured with Laws are some of the ‘beauties’ to have featured on the Network Ten series: Rosemary Margan, Ena Harwood, Sue McIntosh, Bettina Arndt, Anne Wills, Barbie Rogers, Margaret Throsby, Diana Fisher.

Beauty And The Beast was revived again in the mid 1990s in a joint venture between Network Ten and Foxtel. The production later became exclusive to Foxtel.

Picture: Woman’s Day, 16 February 1982

Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2014/02/television-au-february-update.html

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